League Two preview: Bradford ready to bounce back

 

Two weeks ago, we opposed Bradford for their
trip to Dagenham on the basis that emotions were running a little high and
composure might be compromised following a positive start that had kept them
alive in two cup competitions and propelled them into early League Two
promotion contention.

The Daggers obliged at odds of 19/10, although the Bantams didn't go down without a fight, coming back from three goals down to narrowly lose 4-3. Meanwhile, a 1-1 draw with York last weekend has now stretched the current winless sequence to four matches.

So October's been a frustrating month for Phil Parkinson's men, yet observers will tell you that little has changed in terms of performances. Bradford are still approaching games with the same high-intensity for large periods and creating chances by the bucketful.

Nonetheless, we believe a lesson may have been learned. After three seasons languishing in the lower reaches of the basement, it's understandable that everyone around Valley Parade is eager to acknowledge the progress that's been made and what it might amount to next May, but it doesn't pay to get ahead of yourself.

With that in mind, we fancy the wheel of inconsistency that masquerades as a formbook at this level to turn back in their favour against high-flying Cheltenham on Saturday. Take some of the 11/8 about the Yorkshire club putting down a marker and getting their promotion bid back on track.

The visitors moved into the automatic promotion places with victory over AFC Wimbledon last Saturday, although we're unsure how much weight should be attached to that result. The timing of the visit to Kingsmeadow wasn't ideal given that it was Neal Ardley's first game in charge but the Dons have, by and large, been a poor side for the past 12 months.

Nonetheless, it stretched the Robins' current unbeaten league sequence to six matches and they've tasted defeat only twice in their opening 12 matches, which is an admirable response to the heartbreak of losing last season's play-off final at Wembley.

However, by our reckoning, the trip to Valley Parade represents their toughest test so far and it doesn't help their cause that both teams have had a full seven days to recuperate because Bradford needed that break more than most and we presume a disciple of sport science like Parkinson will have used the time wisely.

If the Bantams come out fresh-legged and ready to play with their usual intensity, then Cheltenham's relatively smooth fixture list up to this point might not have prepared them adequately enough to withstand the onslaught.

Betting advice...

2pts Bradford to beat Cheltenham at 11/8 (Coral)
Bantams can get their promotion bid back on track after a full week to recuperate.

For more betting advice, visit Best of the Bets by clicking here.

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
Sport
Lewis Hamtilon and pole-sitter Nico Rosberg
SportShould F1's most aggressive driver curb his instincts in title decider?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin